How to Communicate Major Repairs to Tenants

Providing rental property requires landlords to make sure the property is maintained to an acceptable standard. That said, from time to time, you may have to make major repairs or upgrades – both of which can require a significant expenditure of time and money.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to communicate with tenants should major repairs or upgrades be needed, and give you a few tips on improving tenant engagement.

Prepare Ahead

Before communication with your tenant, it’s crucial to prepare ahead of time in order to be mindful of procedures and to ensure you’re both compliant with any applicable state laws. This includes outlining the entire process, what’s expected from tenants, and any appropriate reimbursements should the repairs or upgrades substantially reduce the tenant’s enjoyment of the growing network.

Inform and Engage the Tenant

Once you’re prepared, you’ll need to start communicating with your tenant. The best place to start is by introducing the repair or upgrade and making them aware of the associated costs and timetable. Besides communicating the basics, it’s important to invite tenants to be part of the process and promote dialogue around why the upgrades are necessary and how they can benefit the tenant in the long-term.

Invite Input and Reassurance

In addition to providing the gist of the repair and upgrade process, you also want to seek input and provide reassurance. By inviting input, it means tenant questions and concerns can be answered in advance and it also gives the tenant a sense of belonging in the decision-making process. Reassurance includes confirming that the repair or upgrade will be completed within an appropriate timeline and that the tenant is still responsible for their regular rent payments throughout the process.

Be Transparent

Besides the basics, you also want to be transparent about the repair or upgrade process. This process can range from providing details around anticipated pricing, the actual contractor, when work will take place, and if any living space is affected.

If the repair or upgrade will affect the tenant’s living space, a follow-up letter should be sent to support their understanding about how the repair or upgrade could impact them and if any reimbursement will be provided.

Communication Options

When communicating with your tenant, there are several options available:

  • Face-to-face: This is the most preferred option due to being able to have strong communication and presence.
  • E-mail or Text Message: A casual, but effective method to communicate when face-to-face isn’t possible.
  • Post: A letter or postcard can be used to inform tenants about the repair or upgrade process and provide an additional layer of documentation.
  • Phone: Calling a tenant directly is also a viable approach and provides a more personal touch.

What to Avoid When Communicating with Tenants

When communicating with tenants, there are some things that should be avoided at all costs. These include:

  • Making assumptions about a tenant’s financial status or capabilities.
  • Assigning blame for the repair or upgrade.
  • Applying strong language in an accusatory way.
  • Including conditions not clearly outlined in the lease agreement.
  • Making promises that can’t be fulfilled.

Seek Professional Help

If you’re ever unsure of how to communicate with your tenants, it’s always a good idea to have a qualified professional help you out. This could be a tenant-landlord lawyer or a qualified tradesperson who can assist you in how communicate the repair or upgrade process to tenants.

Construct a Comprehensive Plan

A comprehensive plan includes a range of elements that must follow a specific order and must completed in a timely manner. This can immensely assist in the communication process and provide tenants with a better understanding of the entire repair or upgrade process from start-to-end.

Seek Tenant Feedback during the Process

Feedback from tenants is one of the most useful and informative elements you can gain in the communication process and can prove invaluable in the long-term. Regular updates about the repair or upgrade process (including works completed and/or upcoming tasks) should be shared where possible and encourage tenant engagement for input and feedback.

Involve the Appropriate Agencies

Depending on the repair or upgrade required, it may be professionally mandated that you involve a third-party. This could be a local authority, such as the fire service who must approve (and/or install) relevant safety features.

Final Thoughts

Clearly communicating with tenants is important and helps alleviate stress and confusion associated with the repair or upgrade process, and promotes tenant engagement. Few things are worse than tenants who don’t understand or appreciate what’s happening in their rental property.

By preparing ahead, informing and engaging tenants, inviting their input and applying transparency, avoid making assumptions and providing reassurance, and involving the appropriate agencies, landlords can make sure that tenants are informed and reassured at every stage of the process.

Ultimately, providing rental property is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, and being mindful of how best to communicate major repairs and upgrades with tenants can benefit you and the tenant in the long-term – it’s a win-win for everyone.

What are the best methods for communicating major repairs to tenants?

1. Email: Email is an efficient and effective way to quickly communicate with tenants about major repairs. It allows landlords to provide detailed information such as itemized charges, repairs that need to be completed, estimated time of completion, and contact information.

2. Letter: Sending a letter is another great way to keep tenants informed about major repairs. Letters can be used to explain the repair process in more detail while also providing important information about the estimated costs, timeline, and contact information.

3. Phone: Phone calls are a personal way to inform tenants about major repairs. This method allows landlords to directly answer any questions tenants may have and provide further details about the repairs that need to be completed.

4. Text Message: Text messages are a great way to quickly and conveniently communicate with tenants, especially if repairs need to be completed in a timely manner.

5. Social Media: Social media is a modern and effective way to communicate with tenants. It’s also a great way to show appreciation by thanking them for their patience during the repair process. Additionally, landlords can use social media to showcase their work and promote their property.

By using a combination of these methods, landlords can ensure that tenants are well informed and comfortable throughout the repair process. Communication is key to creating a positive and productive relationship between landlords and tenants.

What are the benefits of communicating major repairs to tenants?

1. Increased accountability – Making tenants aware of major repairs to their homes or rental properties increases accountability on both sides. Both tenants and landlords know what needs to be done and repairs can be completed more quickly.

2. Increased trust – Communication about repairs builds trust between tenants and landlords. Tenants know their landlords are responsible and take their needs seriously while landlords can trust that tenants will do their part to maintain the property and complete the repairs in a timely manner.

3. Increased safety – By communicating repairs to tenants, landlords are ensuring that the property is always up to code and compliant with safety regulations. This helps protect both tenants and landlords from liability in case of any injury caused by potential hazards.

4. Improved tenant satisfaction – Communication about repairs helps create an open and transparent relationship between tenants and landlord which often results in higher tenant satisfaction. Tenants will feel comfortable with their landlords and likely view their rental experience more positively.

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